Fish & Chips & Blanc de Blancs… & English Fizz
I campaigned to get Blanc de Blancs to represent ‘B’ in the #newwinethisweek alphabet for a fair few reasons:
- Blanc de Blancs is my favourite expression of Champagne (yes it can also come from elsewhere!)
- Its another excuse for a trip to the chippy
- Its another excuse to try English Fizz… almost…
Let me start at the end and explain my “almost” comment about English fizz. My favourite bubbly from the UK is Camel Valley’s 2009 Brut Chardonnay. I have reviewed it numerous times on this blog and really considered writing about it again, but I couldn’t as it’s sold out anyway! Instead I decided to look for another English Blanc de Blancs in the supermarkets with absolutely zero success. Not to be defeated, I bent the rules a little… or a lot if 100% truth be told. As many of you will be aware, I am in the process of opening a wine bar, so this was a great opportunity to try out a wine I have been eyeing up for the list for some time. It is the Jenkyn Place Brut 2010 and it is made with Chardonnay…. Well, 60% of it is anyway!
The Jenkyn Place Vineyard was founded Simon and Rebecca Bladon, who purchased Jenkyn Place in 1997. The estate is located in Hampshire, England and the first vines were planted as recently as 2004 and currently farms just under 5 hectares of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines. The make-up of the 2010 Brut is 60% Chardonnay, 32% Pinot Noir and 8% Pinot Meunier and it is made in the methode traditionelle. The wine spent 42 months on it’s lees and this 2010 vintage was disgorged in October 2014.
Jenkyn Place Brut 2010 (Christopher Piper Wines £27.08)
Starbright lemon with a lovely gentle stream of bubbles in the glass. Notes of brioche and bags lemons on the nose; linear but delicious. Delicate mousse on the palate, bone dry and I get the impression of sucking lemons; so much citrus it explodes all over the mouth like a lemon sorbet; absolutely delicious. The finish is long with gentle yeast, all carried by the wonderful acidity. My gums are still tingling 60 seconds later. Lovely stuff. 91 points
I make no apology for my little digression, but now let’s get back on track and discuss Blanc de Blancs for real. And I didn’t lie about the fish & chips; the haddock (slightly dry) and chips (superb) from the Crispy Cod in Worcester were enjoyable, but the real star of the show was created from Chardonnay alone.
The Deutz house is based the Aÿ region of Champagne and was originally formed as Deutz Geldermann in 1838. The house was acquired by Louis Roederer in 1983 and became a fully-fledged part of the Louis Roederer portfolio of wineries in 1993. Interestingly, the house style usually high includes a high proportion of Pinot Noir, but in the very best years they produce a 100% Chardonnay Blancs de Blanc, as they did in 2007. Another reason to head the way of Deutz is their reslote stance on refusing to supply wines to supermarkets and national chains… long live the indie!
The grapes for the 2007 Blanc de Blancs come mainly from Avize, Le Mesnil sur Oger, Villers-Marmery and the terroirs of Oger, Cramant and Chouilly, with over 80% of the grapes coming from vineyards that are rated Premier or Grand Cru.
The grapes were pressed using automatic and traditional Coquard basket presses, and only the first press must was used. The wine was fermented in small tanks, with each plot vinified separately, before the final blend was aged on the lees for 36 months.
Deutz Blanc de Blancs 2007 (Christopher Piper Wines £59.28)
Before I get onto the wine I have to tell you how much I love the elegant, lower shouldered, narrow necked bottle – there, I sound like a fashion blogger now! Gentle, certainly not over-vigorous stream of bubbles, this wine comes to life when you stick your nose in the glass. The aromas are creamy and yeast-laden, rich and unctuous; if I close my eyes I could be standing in a posh Parisian patisserie. The palate is also rich and creamy with gentle, almost polite, acidity. The fruit is baked apples, all wrapped up in a nutty, buttery pastry duvet. The finish goes on and on and is very class indeed. 93 points (another 9/10 in #newwinethisweek speak!)
That’s 2 out of 2 for #newwinethisweek 2015… I hope whatever you choose for ‘C’ lives up
B is for Blanc de Blanc
C is for ???